Physically challenged persons in the city no longer need to travel to railway reservation counters with their disability certificates and other necessary documents to book tickets and avail concession. Now, they can do so online, from the comfort of their homes. To facilitate this, the Pune Division of Central Railways has already started issuing photo ID cards with unique identity numbers to physically challenged persons in its jurisdiction.
An official said the physically challenged would have to approach the nearest Divisional Railway Manager’s office with all relevant documents in original, claiming concession, and passport-size photographs for photo identity cards.
The move comes as a relief for differently abled persons, who had been demanding a hassle-free system to book tickets.
“So far, the physically challenged used to fill the concession form and produce all relevant documents at the ticket reservation counter to avail concession on train tickets. Now, they no longer have to travel to the railway booking office to avail concession. They can do it online, sitting in the comfort of their homes. Having said that, even if they want to book tickets at the counter, they only need to carry the photo ID,” said a senior official in the Pune Division.
He added that in the past few weeks after the facility was started, about 50 physically challenged people had submitted applications for the photo identity cards.
Rajvardhan Kshirsagar, 42, a lawyer whose left foot was amputated after an accident 10 years ago, said the move would benefit hundreds like him.
Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group, however, said the move needed to be publicised properly. “There are about 25,000 disabled people in Pune district alone. Only 50-odd people have approached the railways for the photo identity cards. This shows a failure on the part of the authorities to publicise the move so that more people get the benefit,” he said.